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Vinyl Wrapping


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Hi Willow, my partner does this professionally - feel free to PM me any questions and I'll get him to answer them for you. He's a big proponent of vinyl wrapping - lots of commercial boats in the BOI now using it instead of painting. Quick, easy and cheap to apply and perhaps most importantly - so easy to repair! We're doing my boat in vinyl next time we haul out. :thumbup:

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Wrapping is still very high on my 'most likely option' list. And getting higher after having a go at sanding off that crap undercoat, talk about sh*t and blanket. Having sussed wrapping I see it as highly viable. One dude I chatted to, and trust, said he'd guarantee the product for 7 years on a boats topsides so that's talking roughly paint work longevity. It is cheaper and you can print onto it what you like.

 

You do need a good substrate though, which can often mean tidy paintwork is still needed.

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At this stage I've seen it used on two boats Foiled and Crusader.

 

It doesn't seem to be even close to being as hard wearing as a painted finish.

 

Both boats were professionally applied and both are having trouble with water getting under the sticker (and forming bubbles and the sticker starting to peel off). Which may be a fixable problem.

It also seems to only take a very light bump with something to get marked and start to fall off especially close to the edges of the sticker and sharp corners.

 

It would be great to hear some more positive stories about it as it is a great idea.

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I'm intrigued that Bimini Babe says it's easy to repair!? I would have thought the only way to repair would be to cut out the damaged area and stick in a new piece of vinyl? In which case surely the cut marks would be visible even if done professionally!? I think it's a great idea though!

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Vinyl is lighter than paint finishing provided you only put a sealer coat under the sticker and apply minimal undercoat. We used latex film on the F1 cars as did a lot of teams. The latex films have better impact resistance and can be applied to aggressive compound curves (concave and convex) without the need for joins. With any film you need a join splice which is essentially a super thin clear tape over the join to stop edge peel. I haven't seen anything like it in NZ but the stuff we used on the cars had a hexagonal pattern on the adhesive side. This allowed air movement between the film and the substrate, eliminating air bubbles during application and moisture build up during the films lifespan. The stuff we used was made by Avery Graphics.

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Wow, lots of questions - seems like a few of you are interested in this, which is reassuring as my partner is just starting to set up his own boat wrapping business! He previously worked for the company that started boat wrapping in NZ, and wrapped more boats in NZ than anyone else, including offshore race boats, commercial boats, superyachts, etc, etc... (I'm doing his marketing BTW, if you hadn't already guessed...) :wink: Yes Squid, we'll definitely buy an ad when we've got the website set up. :thumbup:

 

So, I'll try to deal with some of the negatives first (via the boy - henceforth referred to as 'Dan', for reasons of brevity!). Stickers peeling off on or around the waterline - sounds like a very bad "professional" job to me. Dan has applied vinyl to commercial boats in the BOI that is still going strong after 7 years plus (boats that are out and about all day, every day, doing 30-35 knots). Professional jobs should have no sharp corners in the vinyl to start with, and a specialised sealant is used on the edges and waterline to stop peeling occurring. A real professional will stand by their work too, and sort out any issues that may occur.

 

Vinyl is seriously easy to repair - AM you are correct in assuming that a patch needs to be applied, but it is impossible to see the joins unless you are really looking for them. Most of the commercial boats here in the BOI have patches, and you would never know. Check out D5 - the Dolphin Discoveries boat - it's 100% vinyl wrapped and still looks mint after several years (and dings...)

 

KM you are right about needing a good substrate underneath. Fortunately Dan is a boat painter too, so he can tell you exactly what you need to achieve in terms of your paintwork to ensure a good vinyl finish, or do it for you if you're less inclined to do it yourself!

 

Cost for an SR26 - probably in the region of about $3500 max, based on a good vinyl with a 7 year warranty. That includes materials and application, and a patch kit for your own use. The major advantage is that it only takes a day to apply, so your haul-out costs are usually massively reduced over painting, especially if you are figuring tent-time into your paint cost.

 

Weight issue? A 50m roll of vinyl is lighter than a couple of tins of paint - we're 'out of the office' just now but can come back with exact figures if anyone is really interested! Most likely a lighter finish though.

 

If anyone is interested, just PM me your details for now and I'll get Dan to give you a quote for your boat. Special rates for Crew-orgers, especially as we're just starting out and need some good 'before and after' pics for the website. :mrgreen:

 

Squid - wanna PM me some advertising rates? Sounds like I need to hurry up and build a website! :thumbup:

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Thanks BB, does Dan travel for work or only in BOI? We are in TGA.

As far as the substrate is concerned would a few coats of interprotect suffice?

Was going to PM you but figured everyone would like to know.

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Will travel to TGA (and beyond!) - no problems there. :thumbup:

 

Re. Interprotect - probably unlikely, it's best to have at least an undercoat (if not topcoat) for vinyl application. The only way to tell for sure would be to test it, which we can do if you're really keen to know, will just be a week-or-so before we can, as we're away until next Wednesday.

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John from the Island Cruising Assn has had Windflower done. He thought it was good when we saw him in The Solomons, but had some adhesion problems around dings if I remember correctly. Have a look on their website for contact details for anyone wanting their opinion now.

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Just remember that if you treat you boat like a bumper-car, you're going to make it look shitty - regardless of whether it's paint or vinyl coated. The best solution is to drive with care. :wink:

 

I still reckon you can't beat vinyl for repairs though. I'd much rather stick on a patch (which you can do on the water provided it's not on the waterline), than haul out to paint the whole hull, or spend forever trying to blend in a paint patch (been there, done that, with little success...)

 

That's another benefit of vinyl actually - colour-matching patches is much easier than with paint. The vinyl holds its colour really well, so patches blend in easily.

 

Applying vinyl takes a bit of know-how, but a good tradesman will show you how it's done so you can avoid adhesion problems.

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